STEM Club encourages learning and curiosity

STEM+Club+provides+members+with+a+way+to+learn+about+general+topics+within+STEM+they+may+be+interested+in.+%22I%27m+really+interested+in+STEM%2C+I+like+learning+about+why+the+world+works+the+way+it+works%2C%22+said+Kaitlyn+Kwan%2C+a+junior.

Anika Marino

STEM Club provides members with a way to learn about general topics within STEM they may be interested in. “I’m really interested in STEM, I like learning about why the world works the way it works,” said Kaitlyn Kwan, a junior.

There are clubs at Carlmont that focus on certain aspects of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), like Robotics or the Chemistry Club. However, none of them focused on STEM as a whole until the STEM Club was founded.

Junior and STEM Club president Katelyn Gambarin started the club in fall 2020 for students interested in STEM, catering to non-specialized STEM topics. Gambarin and vice presidents Kaitlyn Kwan and Valentina Espinosa were interested in all aspects of STEM and wanted to create an environment for anyone to join.

What is STEM? by Anika Marino

“I realized there wasn’t a club that just wanted to encompass everything [about STEM] because there’s a medicine club, physics club, and chemistry club, but there weren’t any clubs that put all of that together. It seemed like a good opportunity to dive into different subjects and maybe spark an interest for someone,” Gambarin said.

According to Gambarin and Espinosa, the process to approve the club was simple, but it was initially difficult to make the club a reality, as it is necessary to have three members to start a club.

“We had to find a student advisor, so we contacted Mr. Tsuchiyama. Then to get members, we advertised on our social media, and Mr. Tsuchiyama sent out a reminder to everybody in his math classes,” Espinosa said.

The STEM Club mainly relies on its members; each week during meetings, one of the officers gives a presentation about a section of STEM. According to Kwan, officers take topic requests from members.

“Katelyn, Valentina, and I prepare a presentation about a specific topic. The topic will usually be something that a member requests to learn more about. After we present a topic, we discuss it, and we do a Kahoot on it,” Kwan said.

STEM Club is different from many of the active clubs on campus because it started during distance learning. Gambarin believed that although the activities that the officers came up with work with virtual restrictions, not much will change once the club can meet in person, outside of being able to build connections between members and doing physical projects.

“The meetings will stay relatively the same. Hopefully, we’ll have some sort of project that we can pursue in the club. Projects are a great way to bring people together,” Gambarin said.

Espinosa is hopeful that once club meetings can return to normal, the STEM Club will host labs, special guest speakers, and collaborate with other clubs to develop creative activities. As it has been this year, the club will continue to be open to everyone during in-person learning.

“If you’re not into STEM, you can still come to STEM Club because you may learn something new or find something that will be your new career,” Espinosa said.

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